Afghan refugee in Oregon: ‘My country has problems now’


Local reaction to events in Afghanistan

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Samim Noori watches people trying to escape the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, he is acutely aware of how dire the situation is.

Noori, who worked with the US military and now lives in Oregon, said he moved to the US with his family for safety.

“I saw the news. The airport area is a bad situation. A lot of people are coming to the airport which people have worked with USA,” Noori told KOIN 6 News.

“My country has a lot of problems right now because the Taliban has come, covered the country,” he said. “Afghan people are so scared about the Taliban.”

He also worries the setbacks his country will face on advances in women’s rights and education.

Wyden: Afghan alternatives offered ‘no end in sight’

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said what’s happening in Afghanistan is a “tremendous tragedy” that is unfolding quickly.

President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan a day after the Taliban took control of the country.

Biden said he stood “squarely behind” his decision, but acknowledged the Taliban took control “more quickly than we anticipated.”

At least 6,000 troops have been sent to Kabul to protect the evacuation of Americans and their diplomatic allies, as well as some Afghan civilians.

“What is going on in Afghanistan is horrific,” Wyden told KOIN 6 News. “I also want Oregonians to know that the alternative for 2021 — sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to continue a ‘no end in sight’ conflict — is also horrific. For Oregonians who have talked to me, they don’t want to see their sons and daughters go back into Afghanistan and I sure agree with them.”

Asked if he thinks Biden will send more than the 6000 troops to the area, Wyden said “my sense is, and the President touched on this. this is a day-by-day call.”

Wyden also noted the “terms of surrender to the Taliban were negotiated by (former Secretary of State) Mike Pompeo and (former President) Donald Trump.”

‘We thought it would be years’

Grant Farr, a professor emeritus at Portland State University, lived in Afghanistan for many years. He said he was surprised how quickly the Taliban took over.

“I think everyone was really surprised. I certainly was,” said Farr, who is writing a book on Afghanistan. “We thought it would be years.”

He told KOIN 6 News the US wasn’t successful in “our effort to train the” Afghan military.

“The Taliban has taken over a country. You look at ISIS or Al Qaeda. They’ve had success but they’ve never taken over a country,” Farr said. “And here’s a terrorist group that just taken over a country.”

Other terrorist organizations might try to take over a country now, he said. “They see their move in Afghanistan as part of an international movement.”

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